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News RocketLab News and Discussion Thread

MaverickSawyer

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Since there doesn't seem to be a general thread for discussing RocketLab, I figured I would start it.

Leading off is this freshly uploaded video of how they're proposing to reuse the first stage of Electron. No propulsive landing, but instead, a mid-air snag of the booster with a helicopter as a long-line payload as it descends under a ram-air parafoil. Seems fairly reasonable, especially given the low weight of the stage.

 

soumya-8974

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Re: RocketLab News and Discussion Thread...

Why they cannot use engines to land, like Falcon 9?
 

MaverickSawyer

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Why they cannot use engines to land, like Falcon 9?
Because that takes extra propellant, batteries for the turbopumps on their engines, guidance hardware, landing gear, etc. They said it would require turning a small launcher into a medium launcher just to have enough reserves for propulsive landing.
 

soumya-8974

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Re: RocketLab News and Discussion Thread...

Can 1st stage of the Electron Block 2 survive re-entry without any engine firing?
 

Urwumpe

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Can 1st stage of the Electron Block 2 survive re-entry without any engine firing?

Sure - why not? The first stage isn't really fast to start with and it has a very low density, which means it will have less heating because it already slows down a lot at higher altitudes.
 

MaverickSawyer

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Sure - why not? The first stage isn't really fast to start with and it has a very low density, which means it will have less heating because it already slows down a lot at higher altitudes.
They said that the fist stage weighs only a few hundred kilograms when dry... But it's a small diameter stage, so drag may be fairly low. Hard to say.
 
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